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Parenting and Spanking

I was hardly ever spanked

Posted by bob76 on 2018-09-15 00:52:32

I can only remember receiving one spanking when I was growing up: when I was about 11 my mother spanked all five kids with a hairbrush because one of us (not me) had broken a lamp. I'm pretty sure I was spanked/paddled before that but I don't remember any specific spankings. None of us were spanked after the hairbrush spanking. Theoretically we were still liable to be spanked, but we never were.

During the years that we were spanked my parents treated my sister the same as her four brothers. At school it was different: as far as I know, only boys were caned, not girls. In both cases, again as far as I know, spanking/paddling/caning was always over clothes, never bare bottom or over underwear.

The only punishment I remember receiving from my parents when I was a teenager was that when I was 16 I lost my motorcycle privileges for a week because I let my 13-year-old brother ride the motor bike around the yard. I suspect that if I'd had a different set of parents I might have been spanked for back talk, bad attitude etc. but my parents had a different way of dealing with that.

I don't have any kids but my siblings all do. As far as I know, none of my nieces and nephews have ever been spanked, and they've turned out just fine.

Posted by R.J. on 2018-09-19 17:47:19

Bob, I would wonder if that spanking was really fair. You say you were not guilty of breaking the lamp. Was it that none of you 5 would own up to who was guilty? I guess a hairbrush would work well as a spanking paddle, but my dad never resorted to using one with me. At 11, I would suspect many of us were still liable to be spanked.

I never recall a girl being paddle spanked at school. In our school system it was a wood paddle & not a cane used. Boys who got paddle spanked, got it at school over their school trousers or jeans too...never pants down to underwear or bare. Most of us had dads however who spanked at home with our pants lowered and I think school knew that, so our major deterrent would be that school would tell our parents we had misbehaved and that meant we got it from dad when he got home.

Back talk, attitude, intentional disobedience were grounds to be spanked pre-teen or teenage years. Many parents however preferred to simply ground a teenager rather than cp and that loss of privileges hurt more as a teen than a butt tanning would because it limited your social life. I had both weekend groundings and butt tannings as a teen. Never lost my driving privileges except if I was grounded, which was rare at 16 and older. Had friends who were punished by having the car or license taken by a parent at 16 and older. Was your 13 y/o brother punished for that motor bike ride?

Spanking is not a 'one size fits all' method of punishment. Parents know best their children and what is effective & needed. It's certainly OK not to spank if that truly works, and society today seems to frown more on using cp than when I was growing up. A spanking never harmed me physically or emotionally and I think I always knew I still had my parent's love and they cared about my future, even if I was spanked.


Posted by bob76 on 2018-09-19 21:57:24


No, I don't think the hairbrush spanking was fair. My mother was angry and none of us would admit to having broken the lamp, so she spanked all of us with the hairbrush until one of my brothers admitted that he'd broken it. Then she spanked him until the hairbrush broke. In hindsight she should probably have sent us to our rooms to give herself a chance to cool down. It's my worst memory of my mother and one of the reasons why I'm against spanking.

After that spanking, my parents told us that they were using a new system, based on what was done at the school that we went to. If we misbehaved we'd get a black mark, and if we got ten black marks in the same week (? I'm not sure how long) we'd get a spanking. My parents did reserve the right to give us a "purple mark", i.e. an immediate spanking. As far as I can remember it never came to that, and none of us were spanked after the hairbrush incident.

I don't remember what punishment my brother received for riding the motorcycle at age 13. My guess is that he was grounded for a week.

As I mentioned in the other poll, as far as I can remember we were never punished for things that happened at school. Maybe it would have happened if we'd done something really bad.


Posted by R.J. on 2018-09-27 16:38:41

Bob, as you describe it, I could see why you would think it unfair and quite frankly it sounds as if it came close to being abusive if she actually broke the hairbrush on your brother's bottom. You are right it thinking she should've sent you boys to your room & allowed herself time to cool-off. My dad, who was disciplinarian rather than mom, did just that and so I never remember him punishing in anger. It was always my thinking as a boy that the 'wait in your room' was dad's way of punishing me more by having to anticipate what was going to happen, but as a young adult and talk we had then, he made it clear it was really his cool-off time. Being sent to your room too would've given you brothers time to work on the guilty one to admit his guilt and take his punishment rather than all of you being punished.

I guess at 13, being grounded for a week would be a good and effective punishment. I have long said that parents know best what works effectively with their kids and that is what they should employ. I had some weekend groundings as a teen and they were hard to take since as a teen, Friday night to Monday morning wake-up was when we always had big plans & grounding killed those plans and our social life with friends. I knew why some friends/guys would say they would prefer the butt busting, be it the paddle at school to avoid after school detention or from dad at home rather than be grounded, and have the matter over.


Posted by bob76 on 2018-09-28 03:51:08


Regarding the hairbrush spanking, you made an interesting point about "work[ing] on the guilty one to admit his guilt and take his punishment rather than all of you being punished". As far as I can remember, I didn't know who had broken the lamp. I'm not sure if my other two brothers knew that the third one had broken it. If they did, it meant that they held up under torture, so to speak, rather than rat out the third brother. That would be consistent with the schoolboy code that I mentioned elsewhere about not being a tattle tale.

My father did spank us at times but his spankings must not have been as memorable. I've probably forgotten all the deserved spankings that I got and only remember the one undeserved one. In general my father was the calm, rational one in the marriage while my mother could get emotional at times. I loved her and still do now that she's gone, but the hairbrush spanking showed me a side of her that I didn't like.

By the time of the motorcycle incident none of us had been spanked in the previous five years, so that wasn't really an option. I don't know about my brother, but I think I'd have preferred any non-spanking punishment rather than to be spanked, especially if it would be bare bottom with a belt or paddle. Maybe I would have considered it if the alternative had been missing out on something really important to me.